Phase 4 of West Dorset District Council’s Lyme Regis Environmental Improvements Scheme includes the design and construction of 390 metres of new sea wall and extensive slope stabilisation measures on the cliffs to the east of the town.
Defra funding of £14.6m was secured in March 2012 when the Environment Agency approved the scheme. West Dorset District Council has agreed to contribute £600,000 and Dorset County Council will also contribute funding of up to £4.27m.
District council leader Robert Gould said: “We have been working hard for Lyme Regis and it is great news that we have appointed a contractor for the next stage of our coastal protection works.
“Lyme Regis is on an actively eroding stretch of coast and faces huge challenges from coastal erosion and consequent land slips, which is why this work is so important. The scheme will protect the eastern side of Lyme Regis. Without it, substantial areas of housing and the main road into the town would be lost over the next 50 years.”
Preliminary work at the site, including ecological surveys, ground investigations and treatment of Japanese Knotweed, has already begun. However, it is expected that the major construction work will begin in spring 2013 and last for about two years.
Much of the site is within the Dorset & East Devon Coast World Heritage Site as well as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
Earlier phases, funded mainly by Defra, saw the construction of sea walls and promenades. Beaches were also replenished and slope stabilisation works carried out. Improved sewage treatment was provided in partnership with South West Water and Cobb Road was stabilised and improved by working with Dorset County Council.